In its second agency switch in just nine months, Dreyfus Corp. awarded its estimated $14 million account to Holland Mark Martin Edmund, Boston.
Grace & Rothschild, New York, won the mutual fund marketer's account in September. But Dreyfus split with the shop after six months without running any of the advertising it created.
The other finalists in the latest review were Ingalls Advertising, Boston, and Berlin, Cameron & Partners, New York.
A Dreyfus spokeswoman confirmed the selection, but did not elaborate on the assignment.
Dreyfus' ad spending has fluctuated over the past few years. The company spent $17 million in measured media in 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting, but the figure dropped 35% to $11 million in 1998.
When Grace & Rothschild won the account last fall, Dreyfus boasted that the assignment was worth $30 million in billings. But this time around the marketer dropped that estimate considerably.
Like most mutual fund companies, Dreyfus has benefited from the 1990s' economic boom, increasing its assets under management to $110 billion. The power of its brand name was strong enough to lead Mellon Bank Corp. to place its Laurel mutual funds under the Dreyfus name after their 1994 merger.
Mellon even went a step further last July, when it announced it would market all its global investment management businesses under the Dreyfus name.
But with a fund family dominated by less-popular bond funds, Dreyfus has been playing catch-up with the late '90s stock-market boom. According to a study by Salomon Smith Barney analyst Guy Moskowski, $25 billion in funds flowed into stock funds in April alone, while only $1.5 billion went into bond funds that month.
Since the Mellon merger, Dreyfus has built its equity funds from 10.3% of total assets to 31% by Dec. 31, 1998, but it remains behind competitors such as Vanguard and Fidelity Investments in capturing a larger share of the $3.9 trillion mutual fund industry.
Copyright June 1999, Crain Communications Inc.